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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The conversion of a considerable number of supporters of the Oxford Movement between 1845 and 1851 raised a chorus of condemnations, but also led to the publication of the individual reasons which had led the converts to Rome. In such writings, the converts insisted that the path they had taken was the result of mature consideration and of inescapable dictates of conscience: to remain in the Church of England, they claimed, would have endangered their souls. They maintained that those who remained in the Church of England did so at the cost of abandoning the very principles which had inspired the Movement; they took refuge in and looked for Anglican legitimacy under the banner of private judgement.

Keywords: apostolic succession, conscience, conversions, doctrinal authority, Erastianism, Gorham Judgment, patristic Protestantism, Primitive Church, private judgement

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